Zambians have forced the government to backtrack its decision to hire Chinese national residents in the country as police reserve officers.
Zambians were in utter shock following the circulation of images showing the induction of eight Chinese nationals as police reservists.
The country’s inspector general of police Kakoma Kanganja withdrew the induction barely 24 hours after it unveiled the scheme.
In response to the public criticism, Police spokesperson Esther Katongo explained the recruitment was constitutional and wasn’t unprecedented.
“These are police reserves. The Police Reserves are backed by cap 117 of the Laws of Zambia known as the Zambia Police Reserve Act. The reserves are there to assist the Zambia Police in maintaining Law and order. They are also vital in Community Policing. The Law does not segregate on race. Police reserves put on police uniforms,” Mrs Katongo clarified.
Earlier in the year, Zambia made headlines after its police unit banned officers from marrying foreigners for security reasons
Katongo however countered the argument saying there is no issue of marriage in the Zambia Police Reserve Act. Those are addressed by the standing orders.’
While the government is busy employing foreigners in its police unit, young people are waiting for the state to deliver on its job creation promise.
Confirming the withdrawal of the Chinese police officers from the force Katongo noted that the decision had been made within the confines of the Zambian laws.
“Members of the public should be aware that the appointments were not done outside the Law but within the provisions of the Zambia Police Reserve Act”. Adding that police chief Kangaja rescinded the decision because of the public outcry.
There are about 20,000 Chinese in Zambia some of whom are engaging in basic jobs, according to the privately owned Lusaka Times.